For a long time, the front-of-the-house of a restaurant hasn’t changed much. There’s the front waiter, there’s a server seating you, there’s a separate server serving you, so on and so forth. While that may be the established way to seat patrons, it’s time to change how we take a look at the logistics of the dining room, and what can be done to improve it.
The current front-of-the-house system is convoluted, unreliable, and slow
A staff just to seat people, a staff to serve drinks, AND a staff to give out food? It can happen. But at the same time, having that much staff just to serve food is needlessly complicated, unreliable, and can slow your operation. Having that much people to help patrons leaves room for error. One could easily take your order and confuse your order for someone else’s for example.
Another problem with the current front-of-the-house system is that, especially when it’s busy, it’s unbelievably slow. With a server taking multiple orders in his/her defined area, and having to walk all way to the kitchen counter, and then some, can cause patrons to be unhappy, and if they choose, complain to the staff about slow service.
But it’s not the end of the world for full-service restaurants. Here are some tips that can get started.
Augment your servers with technology
Although this is already been implemented (albeit on a limited basis), giving your tablets could cut time dramatically. Instead of inputting orders all at once or only writing some stuff down, you could literally submit your order to the kitchen once the patron is finished with you. This can also increase table turnover and increase your brand marketing.
You could also augment your servers in other ways such as each server having their own credit card readers (using something like this, for example), so you can only have to go to the POS station(s) for cash (unless you want to use a fanny pack).
And in fact, you could take technology even further by, for example, by sitting on a table like you would sitting on an airline seat. by choosing a place to sit ahead of time. That way you can reduce waiting times and boost brand loyalty.
Change your approach to the front-of-the-house
While this may sound unorthodox, it may not sound like a bad idea to incorporate both the bar and the waiting area. While some restaurants might already use the bar as a waiting area, this at least provides a proper waiting area so that they may take a drink or even an appetizer before they take a seat.
Another way you can change your approach to the front-of-the-house is, and especially if you have a limited budget, is to focus on lighting and sound. With LED lighting, you can both minimize costs on lighting and the heat that dissipates from ordinary lights bulbs. With sound, you can create a quiet environment (which is crucial for high end restaurants) and not have to create a commotion every time you talk to a patron.